NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University participated in the signing of historic legislation that will benefit HBCUs across the state.
Gov. Bill Haslam on Wednesday signed the “Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities” that creates an office within the Tennessee Higher Education Commission to focus on HBCUs, public and private.
“Governor Bill Haslam’s signing of the HBCU Initiative is an historic moment for the State of Tennessee and speaks to his ongoing commitment to higher education,” said TSU President Glenda Glover. “Funding this legislation sends a clear message on the important role Tennessee State University and the other historically black colleges and universities play in serving thousands of families, and our global impact.”
A key component of the initiative is a director’s position that will allow a person to be a liaison who fosters a relationship with lawmakers to make them aware of education accomplishments, services and needs of the state’s HBCUs.
The legislation was sponsored by Tennessee Sen. Reginald Tate of Memphis and State Rep. Harold Love, Jr., whose district includes TSU.
Love said the measure is the “first in the nation where the state has said we’re concerned about all HBCUs.”
“Now the state will be focusing on increasing graduation rates, enrollment rates and retention rates at all of our HBCUs,” Love said.
Besides TSU, Tennessee’s other HBCUs are: American Baptist College, Fisk University, Lane College, LeMoyne-Owen College, Knoxville College, and Meharry Medical College.
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With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 25 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.